‘Dramatic’ weight-loss possible without counting calories, study finds

A new weight-loss study has found that significant results can be achieved without counting a single calorie.

The study’s participants maintained an average weight loss of over 10 kilograms one year after the 12-week programme finished, prompting the researchers to conclude: “This research has achieved greater weight loss at six and 12 months than any other trial that does not limit energy intake or mandate regular exercise.”

What did they do? Calorie controlled diets are notoriously hard to maintain in the long-term and the diet industry makes its money “off failure, not success”. So the 33 participants in the intervention group of this study were not asked to count calories or even increase their exercise levels.

Can you eat bread and lose weight? Yes, according to a new study.

Can you eat bread and lose weight? Yes, according to a new study.

For 12 weeks, they could choose their own meals and eat as much fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and natural, unrefined soy as they wanted. They received cooking classes and daily vitamin B supplements and were asked to avoid animal products, processed products and to minimise high-fat plant foods such as nuts and avocados (only 7 to 15 per cent of their daily energy intake came from fat).

A control group of 32 participants received standard medical care for the same duration without any dietary programme or change.

At the end of the trial, there were no “significant” changes among the control group, while the intervention group demonstrated “dramatic” improvements, with an average of 12.1 kilograms lost at the six-month follow-up and still a steady average of 11.5 kilograms lost at the 12-month mark.

The group also reported higher self-esteem and nutritional know-how, had lower cholesterol and were using less medication.

“Previous research had highlighted reasonable weight loss [via a plant-based diet], so we knew this was possible, but very few of these studies have been randomised, which is a powerful way to reveal true effects from an intervention,” says lead author, Dr Nicholas Wright, of the study, published this week in the journal Nutrition and Diabetes.

“We were pleased with the large and sustained changes that were achieved with only two group sessions per week, while participants made their own food choices.”

He believes that, in part, the group has been able to maintain their weight-loss and health improvements because the cooking classes gave them confidence and skills.

“People need concrete skills they can learn and rehearse, especially in an enabling and comfortable environment,” says Wright, of the Royal New Zealand College of General Practice. “Social contact makes the classes more enjoyable, and people really struggle to maintain behaviour changes if they don’t enjoy them. The group setting allows people to share problems and solutions, which we felt made for effective learning. ”

As for staying away from healthy fats, Wright says a little bit (no more than a handful of nuts a day, for instance) is OK but says it depends on a person’s goals.

“Once someone is at a normal weight they can reintroduce these foods without too many problems. The problem arises when people think they are good for weight loss, due to some pretty shoddy science,” he explains.

“There was one meta-analysis with nut consumption where they’ve claimed it helps with weight, but then in the small print they’ve stated it was using an energy-controlled diet.”

He also points to the work of Dr Dean Ornish and Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr, who have both found that a low-fat, plant-based diet may be able to reverse heart disease and other chronic diseases.

While others have argued against the need to ditch the good fats and insisted that, for many people, eating this way is unsustainable in the long-term, Wright insists it can be.

“In order for weight loss, a person needs to change their energy balance: consume less total energy or exercise more. There is no way around that,” says Wright, who has followed a vegan diet for seven years.

“Taking in less energy can be ‘eating less’ – but we don’t think this is the best approach, as it’s hard to sustain being hungry. Consuming less calories doesn’t have to be actually eating less food, it can be simply eating less dense foods.

“It wasn’t restricted because we told participants to eat as much as they liked, as often as they liked. Some people were eating a very large amount of tasty food and still losing weight. Many participants reported being able to eat as much as they liked and still lose weight as one of the main reasons they could maintain the changes.”

Amanda Salis of The Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise & Eating Disorders at the University of Sydney agrees.

“This is an excellent outcome, and shows the benefits of eating whole foods with minimal processing,” says Salis, who was not involved with the study. “The body is extremely adept at dropping excess weight, provided that the foods consumed are not ultra-processed foods.

“All weight loss occurs via a reduction in kilojoule intake relative to kilojoule needs. What is nice is that when whole foods are used as the basis of the diet, with a lot of vegetables and fruits, people can eat to satisfy their physical hunger and still lose weight.”

Wright adds: “This research supports the whole food plant-based diet as safe and effective. We had many significant findings, including weight loss, lowered cholesterol, less medication usage, decreased waist circumference, and increased quality of life, and this was without increased spending on food or changes to exercise levels. This dietary approach can enable people to feel empowered to improve their medical conditions, but can be used outside of this setting too.”


11 Fat Burning Foods to Keep in Your Kitchen

1. Nuts and Nut Butters

Nuts are excellent sources of MUFAs and other good fats, and pack a little protein, too. A small handful can make a great snack, and nut butter can make a great dip for veggies and fruit. Try making your own nut butters, use nuts to make healthy chocolate pudding, or put it in a smoothie for an extra fat-burning punch! Some of our favorites include: Thrive Market Creamy Organic Almond Butter or Justin’s Hazelnut Butter.

2. Avocado

avocado smoothie

These fruits are MUFA and Omega-3 powerhouses! Try homemade guacamole for a quick snack, or use it to make salad dressings, burgers, soups, and more!

3. Eggs

fat burning eggs

Eggs have the perfect balance of protein, carbs, and healthy fats. What’s even better, is they cook in minutes and are perfect for adding in a big serving or two of your favourite veggies! Try this avocado egg salad or this fat-burning breakfast.

4. Grapefruit

fat burning grapefruit

Studies show that eating half a grapefruit before your breakfast can help you lose weight faster. While the mechanism is still unknown the proof is evident. Try it as a juice or in this metabolism-boosting ceviche and make sure to check with your doctor first if you are on any medications (9, 10)

5. Canned Salmon

tuna cups healthy snacks

It’s fast, packed with Omega-3s and MUFAs, and can be used in place of mercury-containing tuna in pretty much everything. Always look for organic, wild-caught salmon. Follow those same rules if you are buying Tuna, and be sure to buy skipjack for the lowest levels of mercury. (12)Try these cucumber cups for a quick snack or even just toss it on top of a salad and go!

6. Frozen Fruit

fat burning frozen yogurt

Convenience at it’s best — frozen fruit can be a cool, refreshing snack on a hot summer day, tossed into smoothies, or even used to make healthy, homemade frozen yogurt. YUM.

7. Chia Seeds

fat burning chia seeds

These little seeds (and other super seeds) are fat-burning miracle workers! They’re full of fiber, protein, and healthy fats to boost your metabolism and keep you going all day long. Sprinkle them on yogurt, smoothies, salads, and soups, grind them up to thicken sauces, or try this chia seed pudding for an easy mid-week breakfast.

8. Frozen Vegetables

fat burning frozen vegetables

Frozen vegetables are a great substitute for fresh veggies when you’re on a time crunch, and often flash frozen veggies actually have a higher nutrient level then some produce that has been sitting on a shelf for too long (11). Stop skimping on your veggie intake and scramble them with eggs, toss them in a stir-fry, or blend them in a smoothie. Be sure to choose organic or freeze your own.

9. Ginger

fat burning ginger

This super spice helps fight disease and unwanted weight gain! Try this lemon-ginger-avocado smoothie, or other fat-blasting spices to include are cinnamon, garlic, black pepper,cayenne pepper, turmeric, and parsley.

10. Greek Yogurt

fat burning greek yogurt

Full of protein and healthy fats to keep you full for a long time, plain greek yogurt is easy to add in as a snack or simple breakfast. Have it plain topped with frozen fruit, use in place of mayo or sour cream, and try this 5-minute healthy cheesecake,

11. Cauliflower

That’s right! This vegetable is so incredibly versatile, it makes eating healthy easy and fast. Try it as a substitute for mashed potatoes, rice, or pizza crust for quick mid-week meals.

Losing weight doesn’t have to be complicated! Prepare as much as you can, and keep these ingredients in your kitchen at all times to burn fat with every bite.


Is It Ever A Good Idea To Eat A High-Fat Diet ?

The dieting world keeps fluctuating between its lead villains. Now that we officially hate sugar, can every meal be loaded with butter, bacon and avocado instead?

When the low-fat-everything craze peaked in the late ’90s, Australians did not magically become leaner and healthier. Instead, twenty years on, we have an unprecedented level of obesity on our hands.

By now we have figured out that the other side of a ‘low fat’ food label should say ‘probably high sugar, will make you fat anyway’. As the case against sugar is mounting, that leaves dietary fats in an interesting situation. No longer the enemy, fatty foods are enjoying a comeback of sorts.

The trend is especially prominent within circles adopting the #keto lifestyle. On social media it stands for a parade of athletic bodies, hard-boiled eggs, odd-looking smoothies and a truckload of avocados served in every way imaginable. Keto is short for ‘ketogenic diet’, a scientific approach to going (very) low carb.

“The idea of a ketogenic diet is that you restrict carbohydrates to such a low level that your body is mostly using its fat, or the fat that you eat, as its energy store,” explains research scientist and nutrition expert Dr Tim Crowe. This process is called ketosis.

“When it’s doing that, it produces these things called ketones in your bloodstream. Everybody has ketones in their blood, but on a ketogenic diet the levels are much higher.”

The ketogenic diet is actually a medical treatment for children with hard-to-treat epilepsy; when the brain starts using ketones instead of glucose as an energy source, this can also reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures. But lately ketosis is starting to become popular outside its narrow medical application.

“Over the last five or ten years there’s been a lot of research done on that, that there is a potential place for [a low carb diet] in managing type 2 diabetes and, for some people, for weight loss,” explains Crowe.

For your body to enter ketosis, the carb intake has to be shockingly low, making it an extremely restrictive diet. A typical recommendation is to stick to 20-50 grams of daily carbs; two or three pieces of fruit or a single cup of rice could blow your entire carbohydrate budget for the day. Going into ketosis can also produce temporary symptoms such as brain fog, weakness and tiredness, which dieters sometimes call the “keto flu”. According to Crowe, all this makes it hard for people to stick to keto in the long term.

As a medical treatment, a ketogenic diet is used under strict medical supervision. If you’re doing it on your own, it can be difficult to make sure you’re balancing your micronutrients correctly, since foods high in protein and fat can easily have too much sodium, or not enough vitamins.


Bacon is not a food group.

Furthermore, all fats are not made equal. Nutritionists advise that a healthy diet should include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that largely come from things like olive oil, nuts, seeds, avocado and oily fish.

“These shouldn’t displace other healthy foods like vegetables, fruits, and wholegrain foods,” says dietitian Kacie Dickinson from Flinders University. But if you’re going #keto, it can’t all be butter and bacon like the Atkins diet of yore.

“Where there’s a problem is if you eat a high-fat diet that’s full of highly processed food as well,” says Crowe.

To see what happens to the body when you stuff it full of bad fats, researcher Matt Cocks from Liverpool John Moores University conducted a trial with 10 men and 10 women, putting them on a high-fat diet for seven days. The participants’ calorie intake was composed of 60 per cent fat – they gorged on things like sausages, bacon, cheese and hash browns.

Cock’s research features in the latest series of Dr Michael Mosley’s Trust Me I’m A Doctor (Monday 7.30pm on SBS, then on SBS On Demand).

“From time to time, most of us will eat far more than we should in the way of fatty and sugary foods. New research, however, suggests that overindulgence affects men and women differently,” Mosley explains. Mosley’s colleague on the show, Dr Zoe Williams, finds out more. “We all know that too much fat can cause issues with our weight and our heart health, but a new problem that’s only just coming  to light is that eating a lot of fat can also affect how our bodies process other foods, in particular carbohydrates,” she says.

Dr Zoe Williams in Trust Me I'm A Doctor

In Trust Me I’m A Doctor, Zoe Williams goes on a high-fat, carb-heavy diet to see how it affects her body.

The goal of Cock’s study was to see whether such a diet affects the ability to deal with blood sugar changes – if your body can’t deal with glucose spikes that becomes a risk for type 2 diabetes. Unsurprisingly, the unhealthy fats did contribute to the problem, especially for male participants. However, the trial was very small, so experts say it is hard to draw sound conclusions from it.

“It’s an interesting study to look at mechanisms, but they also ate 50 per cent more calories,” Crowe emphasises. “Anybody eating that amount of extra energy, even if it was coming from healthy fats, would start gaining weight.”

“Fat may have a role in suppressing appetite and energy intake through its effects on our digestive system,” adds Dickinson. “We need to understand this better because eating lots of fat in the diet can still lead to eating too many calories and eventually contribute to gaining extra weight.”

Ultimately, a high-fat, low-carb diet that puts your body in ketosis may work for weight loss in some people, but despite a few evangelical proponents it’s neither a magic bullet nor is it widely recommended, explains Crowe.

“It’s not miles in front of other approaches somebody could choose.”




The six VERY surprising things you can do before midday to help you lose weight

Even with the best of intentions, sticking to a diet or fitness regime in the hope of slimming down is no easy task.

But there are some tricks you can employ to set yourself up for success, according to Women’s Health magazine.

If you want to ensure you stick to your diet throughout the day, the secret is all in your morning routine.

Hitting the snooze button to enjoy an extra half hour in bed might mean you forgo your lunch prep, but as long as you grab some healthy snacks then it all contributes to dieting success.


Hitting the snooze button means you’ll feel well rested and less likely to succumb to mindless eating throughout the day (stock image)

If you’re watching your weight, getting up early to prep food or fit in exercise might sound like an ideal plan.

But if you approach the day feeling grumpy because you’ve not had enough sleep, then you’re more likely to be in the positive frame of mind needed to stick to a diet.

On top of that, feeling tired means you’re more likely to eat more throughout the day.

In addition, studies have suggested that lack of sleep effects hormones that can make your metabolism more sluggish.


If you are dieting, these are the foods you should factor in to help you lose stomach fat.

1. Wholemeal bread: It contains four times the fibre, more than three times the zinc and almost twice as much iron as white bread. The carbohydrates break down slowly over several hours, so there’s no sudden flooding of sugars into the bloodstream.

2. Legumes: The resitant starch amylose behaves like fibre, providing bulk for the bowel motion and fuel for the beneficial bacteria.

3. Globe artichokes: Chlorogenic acids aid detoxification and stimulate bile production for great digestion.

4. Watermelon: It’s a natural diuretic that’s also loaded with potassium to stop any water retention.

5. Miso: It’s a natural source of friendly bacteria, which plays many vital roles in gut health, including breaking down and absorbing nutrients and helping to keep the ‘bad’ bugs at bay.


Some morning people love to get their workout over first thing, and that’s a great strategy as it boosts your metabolism, releases positive endorphins and puts you in an achieving frame of mind for the day ahead.

If you prefer to do your exercise later in the day, there’s no need to force yourself down to the gym first thing.

But even a short burst of exercise, such as 10 minutes of yoga or running on the spot will kickstart your metabolism for the day.

If you’re really pressed for time or just can’t face your sun salutations in the early morning, make it part of your commute.

Get off the bus or train one stop earlier and walk the rest of the way to cheat yourself into exercising.


Ideally, you’ll head off to work with a healthy homemade lunch in your bag.

But if you don’t have time, then at least make bringing healthy snacks a priority.

Stock up the cupboards so you always have something to grab, or keep a stash under your desk.

Snacking on sugary or fatty foods is a surefire way to ruin your diet, so make sure you have healthy options such as nuts or fruit to hand.

Go to work armed with healthy snacks or else it will be hard to resists the temptation of a sugary tweet  

Go to work armed with healthy snacks or else it will be hard to resists the temptation of a sugary tweet


Let some light into the room as soon as you can, and don’ forget about that morning walk.

Getting a dose of UV light is thought to help sync your body clock, which helps to get your metabolism firing on all cylinders.


Everyone knows that eating a good breakfast is the foundation for resisting temptation.

But a sugary cereal or a slice of toast is not the set up you need if you want to stick your good intentions all day.

A combination of protein and carbohydrates will keep you feeling full and level your blood sugar, so have eggs on toast or Greek yogurt with fruit.

Starting the day with protein will help you feel fuller for longer and help you stick to your diet throughout the day 

Starting the day with protein will help you feel fuller for longer and help you stick to your diet throughout the day


You may not be able to get started without your morning coffee, but make sure you have a big glass of water too.

As well as helping to fill you up it will help to reduce the bloating that can leave you feeling sluggish and demotivated.

Add a squeeze of lemon or lime if you’re craving fruit juice for a flavour hit without the sugar and calories.



20 Minute Yoga Workout For Weight Loss

Let’s burn a few pounds of those pesky pounds off…

Yoga is an incredible form of exercise that can be used for flexibility, strength, and yes, losing weight. 

20 Minute Yoga Workout For Weight Loss | Fitness & Healthy Living |

It has a profound effect on weight loss and this workout will help burn off belly fatfaster than ever!

This yoga workout for weight loss will also help with energy levels and flexibility, giving the body a renewed sense of purpose and the extra energy to burn more calories.

Who is the workout for?

  • Complete beginners
  • People looking to improve their flexibility
  • People looking to use yoga to lose weight

.Here is an introduction into the poses along with instructions and tips on how to do them.

20-Minute Yoga Workout for Weight Loss

Boat Posture - Navasana


1. Boat Pose (Navasana)

Slowly raise your legs up to a 45 degree angle using your arms to help you balance.  Once you feel balanced and steady enough, slowly raise your arms to the outside of the knees.

Hold for 30 seconds. Work towards holding this position for a full minute.

Plank Posture - Phalakasana2. Plank Pose (Phalakasana)

Firmly grip the mat, round the shoulders and upper back, and keep your butt in line with the rest of your body.  Don’t let your body sag at all. Stay firm and tight, and the abs will do all the work for you!

Hold for 30 seconds. Work up to holding it for 2 minutes.

Bridge Variation - Setu Bandha Sarvangasana

3. Bridge Variation (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

Begin by laying flat on the ground with your knees bent and heels touching your butt.  Use your glutes and core to lift yourself up and balance on the feet and shoulders.

Reach your arms underneath you and adjust the shoulders so that you can raise yourself higher.  Slowly lift up your right leg and hold.  Make sure your left knee is at a 90-degree angle.

Hold for 30 seconds.  Perform on both sides.

We also have a short video on the health benefits of yoga on our Youtube Channel, The Health Nerd, that you might find helpful!


For more health and fitness tips backed by science, please show our channel some love and SUBSCRIBE HERE! We appreciate every subscriber we get that helps our channel grow!

Side Plank Variation -Vasisthasana4. Side Plank Variation (Vasisthasana)

Begin in side plank pose with your left hand on the mat directly beneath your left shoulder and your feet at an angle.  Slowly reach your right leg up to your right arm. Grab your toes if you can while keeping the right leg straight.

This requires a lot of flexibility in the legs. If you can’t straighten the leg, try bending your knee slightly.

Hold for 30 seconds.  Perform on both sides.

Superman Pose -Viparita Shalabhasana5. Superman Pose (Viparita Shalabhasana)

Gently raise your head, chest, arms, and feet up at the same time. Your lower belly and hips should remain flat on the ground.  Raise them up as high as you can and hold. Your gaze should be straight ahead of you.

Hold for 30 seconds. Try to work up to holding it for up to 1 minute.

If you are tired of feeling heavy and in pain from your extra weight and are interested in losing weight quickly with a calm yoga practice, make sure to take a look at our Yoga Fat Loss Bible for Beginners!

Upward (Reverse) Plank Pose -Purvottanasana6. Upward (Reverse) Plank Pose (Purvottanasana)

Begin in the sitting position with your legs out in front of you and your hands placed directly underneath your shoulders.  Using your core and your glutes, lift your body up until your pelvis is directly in a straight line with the rest of your body.

Hold this position for 30 seconds.

Half Moon Pose -Ardha Candrāsana7. Half Moon Pose (Ardha Candrāsana)

Try to stack the hips so that the body is open and pointing outwards, not down towards the mat. Point your right foot out to the side as well, not the floor.  If you don’t have the flexibility to reach the floor while keeping your left leg straight, bend the left knee slightly to allow your hand to touch the floor (or use a yoga block).

Other modifications include reaching your right arm towards the floor to help with balance or reaching your left arm to your knee instead of the floor.

Hold for 30 seconds.  Perform on both sides.

side plank variation8. Side Plank Variation (Vasisthasana)

Begin in side plank pose with your right hand on the mat directly beneath your right shoulder and your feet at an angle.  Slowly reach your right leg around and in front of your right leg. Bend the knee so that it’s at a 90-degree angle.

Reach your left arm towards the ceiling, and let your gaze lift upward.

Hold for 30 seconds.  Perform on both sides.

Side Angle Pose - Utthita Parsvakonasana9. Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana)

Begin in Warrior I (a lunge position with your left knee bent forward at a 90-degree angle and your right leg straight back with your toes pointed forward).  Bend the left elbow and let it rest on the right knee (or reach it down to the ground to increase the stretch).  Reach your right arm up behind you, so that it’s in a straight line with your right leg.

Increase the stretch in your side body by reaching out farther through your right fingertips.

Hold for 30 seconds.  Repeat on both sides.

Four-Limbed Staff - Chaturanga Dandasana10. Four-Limbed Staff Pose (Chaturanga Dandasana)

This is a plank variation. Chaturanga is also the yogi pushup.

From plank position, lower your entire body down until your torso is parallel to your upper arms and triceps. Make sure that your butt is lifted a little higher than your torso, and that your belly isn’t sagging. Stay firm.

First try holding this position for 10 seconds. Work up 30 seconds – 1 minute.

Wheel Posture - Chakrasana11. Wheel Pose (Chakrasana)

This is a more advanced pose (depending on your natural back flexibility), but we wanted to add it in here to help challenge you!

Begin by laying flat on your back with your knees bent and your heels touching your butt. Bend your elbows, and place your palms face down on either side of your head. Gently push yourself up using your arms and your feet.

Be mindful of the elbows. They tend to want to stick out in this position.

Hold it for 30 seconds or as long as you feel comfortable.

Crow Posture - Bakasana12. Crow Pose (Bakasana)

This pose is a little more advanced, but it has been included to help you challenge yourself.

Begin in a squatting position on your heels with your hands out in front of you.  Come up onto your toes, and place your knees on your upper arms as close to your armpits as possible. Slowly shift your weight forward until your feet come off of the ground and your arms are supporting your weight.

To modify this for beginners, try placing your knees closer to your elbows or even just outside of your elbows.

Hold for 30 seconds or as long as you can.

Remember that for this workout, you will hold each pose for 30 seconds before moving onto the next pose. After all 12 poses have been completed, rest for 1 minute. 

Then repeat the workout again, making sure to switch sides on the poses that work different sides of the body.  Rest for an additional minute, and complete the poses for a third time.

Feel free to stay in any of the stretches for longer than 30 seconds if it feels good on your body or you think you need it.




Carbohydrate Facts : Simple = Bad , Complex = Good ?

There is conflicting information out there about carbs.

Studies have shown that low-carb diets are effective for weight loss, but that doesn’t mean that eating carbs makes you fat.

In fact, there are plenty of health benefits associated with eating carb-containing foods, but that’s only if you eat the right kinds.

While some high-carb foods are highly nutritious and even helpful for weight management, others are detrimental to your health.


What Are Carbs?

Carbohydrates, or carbs, are one of three macronutrients that provide the body with energy. The other two are protein and fat.

There are three major classes of carbs:

  • Sugars: Individual sugar molecules or short chains of sugar molecules. These include glucose, fructose, galactose and sucrose.
  • Starches: Longer chains of carbohydrate molecules that need to be broken down in the digestive system.
  • Fiber: Carbohydrates that the body cannot digest.

The primary function of carbs is to provide the body with energy.

Most carbs are broken down into glucose in the digestive system and provide the body with fuel to perform essential functions.

Each gram of carbs provides the body with four calories. The exception to this is fiber, which generally does not provide many calories.

Bottom Line: Carbohydrates are a macronutrient that provides the body with energy. Carbs include sugars, starches and fiber.

Not All Carbs Are Created Equal

Part of the reason there is so much confusion regarding carbs is that not all carbs are created equal.

People tend to classify all carbs as either good or bad, but that doesn’t make sense.

There are major differences in the health effects of different types of carbs, so they cannot all be lumped into one group.

One way that carbs are classified is by the terms “simple” and “complex.” Some people define all starch and fiber as complex carbs and all sugars as simple carbs.

However, this definition can be confusing. Some starches like sweet potatoes, quinoa and legumes provide many health benefits, while other starches like refined wheat flour are associated with a myriad of health problems.

Additionally, not all sugars have the same effect on your body. Added sugars like those found in baked goods and sugary drinks can harm your health .

However, the natural sugars found in fruits and vegetables do not have the same negative effects.

It makes more sense to define complex and simple carbs this way:

  • Complex carbs: Carb-containing foods that are in their whole, unprocessed form. Foods in this category include fruits, vegetables and legumes.
  • Simple carbs: Sugars and starches that have been refined and stripped of their natural fiber and nutrients.

Bottom Line: Complex carbs are healthy, whole foods in their unprocessed form. Simple carbs are refined grains and sugars that have very little nutritional value.

Complex Carbs Are Highly Nutritious, but Simple Carbs Are Not

Brown Rice vs White Rice

Complex carbs are healthier than simple carbs because they are generally nutrient dense. This means they contain a large amount of nutrients in relation to the number of calories they provide.

Whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes are highly nutritious foods that are rich in antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

On the contrary, simple carbs contain “empty” calories, meaning they have calories, but very little nutritional value.

To highlight the nutritional differences between complex and simple carbs, let’s compare whole grains and refined grains.

A whole grain contains three distinct parts:

  • Germ: The seed portion of the grain that’s high in polyunsaturated fats and various important nutrients.
  • Endosperm: The inner portion of the grain that’s mostly made up of starch.
  • Bran: The hard outer portion of the grain that’s high in fiber and essential fatty acids.

The germ and bran of a grain are where the majority of its nutrition is found.

Interestingly, when grains are processed and refined, the highly nutritious germ and bran are removed, leaving only the starchy endosperm.

Below is a comparison of the nutritional content of one cup (120 grams) of whole wheat flour and one cup of refined wheat flour (5, 6):

Whole Wheat Flour Refined Wheat Flour
Calories 407 455
Carbs 87 grams 95.4 grams
Protein 16.4 grams 12.9 grams
Fat 2.2 grams 1.2 grams
Fiber 14.6 grams 3.4 grams
Thiamin (% RDI) 36% 10%
Riboflavin (% RDI) 15% 0%
Niacin (% RDI) 38% 8%
Vitamin B6 (% RDI) 20% 8%
Folate (% RDI) 13% 8%
Pantothenic acid (% RDI) 12% 5%
Iron (% RDI) 26% 8%
Magnesium (% RDI) 41% 7%
Phosphorus (% RDI) 42% 13%
Potassium (% RDI) 14% 4%
Zinc (% RDI) 23% 6%
Manganese (% RDI) 228% 43%
Selenium (% RDI) 121% 61%
Choline 37.4 mg 13 mg

Whole wheat flour is a source of several important nutrients, but those nutrients are lacking in wheat flour that has been processed and refined.

The same is true for fruits and vegetables. In their whole forms, they contain small amounts of fructose, but they are also packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber.

On the other hand, processed foods and sugary beverages contain large amounts of sugar and absolutely no nutrients. These added sugars are associated with all kinds of health problems.

Bottom Line: Complex carbs, such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes, are highly nutritious. Simple carbs provide calories, but no nutritional value.

Health Benefits of Complex Carbs

Carbs are not essential for life, but eating the right kind may benefit your health.

Complex Carbs Are Less Likely to Cause Blood Sugar Spikes

Simple carbs are digested very quickly, which causes a spike in your blood sugar.

The blood sugar spike stimulates your pancreas to release a large dose of insulin, which often leads to a blood sugar “crash,” leaving you hungry and craving more sugar .

Fiber-rich, complex carbs take much longer to break down than simple carbs. This helps keep blood sugar levels steady, as sugar reaches the blood stream gradually .

Because complex carbs are digested more slowly, they provide sustained energy and help you feel full for longer .

Complex Carbs May Reduce Your Risk of Some Chronic Diseases

Consuming complex carbs may help lower your risk of chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease .

They tend to be high in dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and plant compounds. All of these components play a role in disease prevention .

Furthermore, studies have found that eating whole foods high in dietary fiber may lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and blood sugar levels, as well as help raise “good” HDL cholesterol .

Complex Carbs Promote a Healthier Digestive System

There are billions of “good” bacteria lining your intestines. They’re known as your gut microbiota.

They play a role in managing several digestive disorders and have been linked to various other aspects of health .

Soluble fibers found in complex carbs feed the beneficial bacteria and increase their presence in your gut. They also help the bacteria produce nutrients, such as short-chain fatty acids, which are beneficial for digestive health .

Complex Carbs May Reduce Inflammation

Inflammation is the body’s natural response to infection or injury. However, long-term inflammation can increase the risk of several chronic diseases .

While sugary foods and refined flours promote inflammation, complex carbs help reduce inflammation .

Single-ingredient whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes contain fiber and plant compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties .

Bottom Line: Complex carbs like whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables have multiple health benefits.

Simple Carbs Can Be Detrimental to Your Health

Simple carbs like refined grains and added sugars are horrible for your body.

Below are some of the detrimental health effects of simple carbs:

  • They contribute to overeating: Simple carbs break down quickly and cause a blood sugar roller coaster. Studies have found that these blood sugar spikes and crashes contribute to cravings, hunger and overeating .
  • High triglyceride levels: Large amounts of refined carbs can lead to elevated triglyceride levels, which increase the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes .
  • Increased heart disease risk: Sugar and refined grains increase heart disease risk. A study found those who ate the most refined grains were 2–3 times more likely to develop heart disease than those who ate the least .
  • Increased risk of type 2 diabetes: Excessive consumption of simple carbs can cause your cells to become resistant to insulin, which greatly increases your risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • Sugar is addictive for some people: Similarly to recreational drugs, sugar causes the brain to release dopamine. For people that are prone to addiction, sugar can be highly addictive .
  • Increased chance of becoming obese: Simple carbs harm the hormones that regulate appetite, making them likely to contribute to obesity .

Bottom Line: A diet high in refined carbs can have multiple negative health consequences.

Which Foods to Eat and Which Foods to Avoid

Woman Confused About Salad And Hamburger

Carbs can be a healthy part of your diet if you choose the right ones.

The healthiest carbs are from foods that are in their whole, unprocessed form.

Complex Carbs to Eat

The following foods are good carbs to include in your diet:

  • Whole grains: Whole, unprocessed grains like oats, quinoa, barley and brown rice.
  • Legumes: Lentils, black beans, kidney beans, black-eyed peas, etc.
  • Vegetables: Sweet potatoes, broccoli, green beans, carrots, asparagus, etc.
  • Fruits: Apples, berries, oranges, kiwi, etc.
  • Nuts and seeds: Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, chia seeds, etc.

Refined Carbs to Limit or Avoid

These foods tend to contain mostly refined carbs and should be limited:

  • Sugary beverages: Soft drinks, sweetened tea, sports drinks, fruit juices, etc.
  • Desserts and sweets: Donuts, cakes, cookies, ice cream, candy, etc.
  • White bread: This includes “white wheat” bread.
  • White pastas: These are made from refined wheat flour.

Bottom Line: Complex carbs that are in their whole form are generally healthy foods that are rich in fiber and nutrients.

Take Home Message

Complex carbs are far more nutritious than simple carbs.

They are high in nutrients and fiber, and eating them on a regular basis can be beneficial for your health and waistline.

On the other hand, simple carbs provide little to no nutritional value and should be avoided as much as possible.


Warning: Do not try fasting for weight loss before reading this

In my article 2 weeks ago where I wrote about why fasting is good for your health I mentioned that fasting had been shown to help with weight loss, reduction of blood sugar, increase in insulin sensitivity and the control of Type 2 diabetes.

Today I’m going share with you how to prepare for a fast and the various fasting protocols; in short, a step by step how to guide on fasting.

First, we need to define what fasting IS and ISN’T.

Fasting Is Normal!

Fasting is simply not eating. Yup, you read that right.

In its simplest and most well know from, when you stop eating after dinner at 7 pm and you don’t eat anything until breakfast the next morning at 7 am, you’ve just completed a 12 hour fast – this is what most people do, so fasting is already part of our lifestyles whether we acknowledge the fact or not.

I’m sure most folks have slept in during weekends, and some may not have gotten up until 10 am and then proceed to have brunch at 11 am. If you’ve done that, you’ve fasted for 16 hours without even knowing it.

If you’ve read my earlier article on fasting, you’ll remember that fasting is very different from starvation. Simply put, you can control when you want to end the fast; but in starvation, you don’t really don’t know when your next meal is coming so you don’t have any control. So with this, I want to reiterate that fasting IS NOT starvation.

Does Fasting Cause Peptic or Gastric Ulcers?

No, fasting will NOT cause peptic or gastric ulcers as is commonly believed. Naysayers who believe this old wives’ tale will tell you that the stomach starts excreting gastric acid during regular meal times, and if you don’t eat, this will start hurting you, and sooner or later it’ll lead to cause you to develop peptic or gastric ulcers.

This is NOT TRUE! According to the Mayo Clinic, peptic ulcers are caused by:

  • A bacterium – The Helicobacter pylori bacteria to be exact.
  • Regular use of pain relievers – Especially over-the-counter pain medications and nonsteroidal inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs.
  • Other medications – Such as steroids, anticoagulants, low-dose aspirin, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), alendronate (Fosamax) and risedronate (Actonel)

Also if you have any of the following risk factors, you increase your chances of getting peptic ulcers:

  • Smoking
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Untreated Stress
  • Regular consumption of spicy foods

Preparing to Fast

If you don’t do any preparatory work and get yourself fat adapted, you’ll feel terribly hungry, irritable, tired with foggy thinking and even faint headed especially when you plan on fasting for 24 hours or longer.

If this is your first time fasting, start with intermittent fasts i.e. the shorter fasts where you eat 2 meals a day. If you’re experiencing headaches at first, increase your salt intake by drinking broth.

To get your body to switch the fuel source from glucose (carbs) to ketones (fats), you MUST put your body in a situation where it can empty the glucose stores and slowly switch over to using fat as fuel. The only way to do that is to lower your intake of carbs dramatically and at the same time increase intake of fats to facilitate this process:

  • 70% of your calories should come from fat
  • 20% from protein
  • 10% from carbs (about 20-50g a day for most people)

If you’re entering ketosis for the first time, the chances are that within a few days; you’ll experience the symptoms of the dreaded transitional phase aka the low carb or keto flu which I’ve described in detail in my post on how to start a low carb diet correctly.

As soon as your body has adapted to using ketones (fats) as its fuel source, you’ll feel your energy returning, and everything will be back to normal. This usually takes about a week, although some folks take slightly longer.

There’s also a small minority who don’t get these symptoms at all so if you’re in this group; you’re one of the rare folks who can get fat adapted without going through the keto or low carb flu.

For the rest of the folks, when your energy returns and you don’t have ravenous hunger pangs even when you miss a meal or two, that’s when you know your body is fat or keto adapted. Once you’ve been fat or keto adapted for 2 to 3 weeks, you’re ready to start fasting.

Who Shouldn’t Fast

You shouldn’t fast if you’re

  • Pregnant
  • Skinny and underweight
  • Have a history of anorexia
  • A Type 1 diabetic

6 Types and Lengths of Fasts


Fasting is very flexible, and you can fast as often and as long as you like provided that you feel okay. That is having said, I’ll outline the more popular intermittent fasting regimes.

In all fasts, coffee and/or tea without milk or cream, water and bone and meat broths are allowed. Let’s look at the shortest fasts first.

1. Skipping a Meal or Two

This is the easiest and most convenient way to fast when you don’t feel hungry when a meal time comes, or you’re too busy to eat. You can miss any meal, so it doesn’t matter if it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner and doesn’t even need any planning.

Let’s say you had a huge and filling dinner and didn’t feel hungry at all the next morning. So the easiest thing to do is to miss breakfast and eat lunch and dinner. If you’re still not hungry when lunch time rolls by, just skip lunch as well and only eat dinner.

2. 12 Hour Fasts

This is basically a 2 meal a day eating plan where you typically have breakfast, then fast for 12 hours and have dinner. So if you have your breakfast at 7 am, you fast until 7 pm when you have dinner.  After that, you fast again for 12 hours until breakfast the next morning.

This is one of the easiest ways to fast for beginners. I usually tell my clients to start with 12-hour fasts when they hit a plateau in blood sugar reduction and/or weight loss. 

3. 16:8

This involves fasting for 16 hours and eating within an 8-hour window. In this regime, you miss either breakfast or dinner. Let me give you an example. If you eat your last meal at dinner time i.e. 7 pm then you don’t eat anything until 11 am the next day when you have brunch. You have dinner again at 7 pm and the cycle repeats.

If you decide to have breakfast at 7 am, then you have a late lunch at about 3 pm, after which you fast until 7 am the next morning when you have breakfast, and the cycle repeats itself.

Whichever meal you decide to miss doesn’t matter as long as you’re fast for 16 hours and eat in the window of 8 hours. I get some of my clients to move from a 12 hour fast to a 16 hour fast once they’re okay with the former.

4. 20:4

This fasting regime is similar to 16:4 except that the eating window is shrunk to 4 hours. So assuming you decide to eat breakfast at 7 am, lunch would be at 11 am after which you fast until 7 am the next morning when you have breakfast again.

Likewise, if you decide to have a late lunch at 3 pm, you eat dinner again at 7 pm, after which you fast until 3 pm the next day when you have lunch again.

These timings aren’t set in stone; you can eat your meals any time as long as they’re within a 4-hour window after which you fast until the next 4-hour window the next day.

5. OMAD or 24 Hour Fast

OMAD is the acronym for one meal a day aka the 24 hours fast. In fitness circles, it’s also known as the Warrior Fast. This is a simple short fast regime: depending on your preference, you only eat breakfast, lunch or dinner as your only meal of the day. Once you’ve eaten and are full, you fast for 24 hours until the next day when your meal time comes, be it breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Many folks I know who practice OMAD eat dinner as the only meal because that’s when everyone in the family sits together and have an unrushed meal.

Most working folks rush through breakfast to either drive or take the subway to work and lunch time is usually spent with co-workers or clients; dinner is the only time when everyone can unwind and have a relaxing meal with the family.

The usual fasting progression that I take my clients through is 12-hour fasts, then 16:8 and finally OMAD. This is very effective for both reduction of blood sugar in Type 2 diabetes and/or weight loss in addition to the LCHF or ketogenic diet especially when the client hits a plateau.

6. 5:2 or Fast Diet

This eating and fasting diet was popularized by British broadcaster and doctor, Michael Mosley.

In this eating plan, you have your normal 3 meals on your nonfasting days, and for the 2 fasting days, you restrict calories to 500 a day either in a single meal or spread over small meals or snacks. The 2 fasting days need not be consecutive i.e. you can designate any 2 days within the week as your fasting days e.g. Mondays & Thursdays.

Precautions You Need to Take

If you’re on blood glucose lowering medications for Type 2 diabetes, please work closely with your doctor to reduce the dosages if you plan to fast. Fasting especially extended fasts going beyond 24 hours will lower your blood glucose levels pretty quickly. If the dosages of your diabetic medications especially insulin aren’t lowered, you risk having low blood sugar or hypoglycemia which can be dangerous, even life-threatening if no medical attention is given in time.


The Boiled Egg Diet – Lose 24 Pounds In Just 2 Weeks

Nutritionists and health experts all over the world claim that the boiled eggs diet will help you to lose 24 pounds for only 2 weeks.

That’s true – you will be surprised by the results. Only read through the article below and discover more information about this amazing diet.

Honestly, as we all know one of the biggest public health problems in the USA is the plumpness. Obesity is closely connected with heightened risk for a lot of diseases, such as: several types of cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Unfortunately, there is no a magic receipt for losing weight, and for years, a lot of overweight people devote serious effort to lose extra weight. It is almost impossible to lose weight without reducing the use of calories, but the reduction of calories should not be so rigorous that you are always hungry or you are not able to obtain the sufficient amount of necessary nutrients.

A healthy diet should include a big amount of fresh fruit and vegetables, beans and grains, but in order to reduce the intake of calories, you should cut back on sweets, fizzy drinks, fast food, and high-calorie desserts.

But, don’t despair! The reason why you should not be worried is that, as we mentioned before, in this article we are going to reveal you a very easy diet for losing weight. It is so simple and you can lose 24 pounds for only 2 weeks. In this weight loss diet, eggs are the main ingredients. It is l low-calorie diet, set for fast results, not for long-term weight loss.

As we all know, our body needs a lot of calories for energy, and if we reduce the intake of healthy nutrients in our body for some period, we can seriously harm our body, increase the risk for some serious health problems and weaken our metabolism.

Absolutely, eggs represent a health food. They contain a lot of healthy nutrients and protein. Consuming eggs provides all the necessary healthy nutrients and vitamins for the human body. If you take up this weight lose diet and don’t eat unhealthy food for some time, you will considerably build up your metabolism.

You should also be familiar with the fact that eggs contain vitamins, minerals, good fats, high-quality proteins and a lot of nutrients. One egg is loaded with Vitamin B12, Vitamin B2, Vitamin A, Vitamin B5 as well as Selenium. It also contains almost all the necessary vitamins and minerals which are essential for the human body, such as iron, zinc, calcium, manganese, potassium, Vitamin E, Folate and other.

Usually, one large egg contains 77 calories, 6 grams quality protein, 5 grams fat and small amounts of carbohydrates. It is also important to mention that all the healthy nutrients are contained in the yolk; there is only protein in the white.


Here is the 2-week menu. Enjoy it!


1. Monday:

• For breakfast – fruit and 2 boiled eggs.
• For lunch – fruit and 2 slices of meal bread.
• For dinner – Salad and cooked chicken.

2. Tuesday:

• For breakfast – fruit and 2 boiled eggs.
• For lunch – green salad and cooked chicken.
• For dinner – 2 boiled eggs, salad and an orange.

3. Wednesday:

• For breakfast – fruit and 2 boiled eggs.
• For lunch – low-fat cheese, a slice of meal bread and one tomato.
• For dinner – Salad and cooked chicken.

4. Thursday:

• For breakfast – fruit and 2 boiled eggs.
• For lunch – fruit.
• For dinner – salad and streamed chicken.

5. Friday:

• For breakfast – fruit and 2 boiled eggs.
• For lunch – streamed vegetables and 2 boiled eggs.
• For dinner – barbequed fish and salad.

6. Saturday:

• For breakfast – fruit and 2 boiled eggs.
• For lunch – fruit.
• For dinner – salad and streamed chicken.

7. Sunday:

• For breakfast – fruit and 2 boiled eggs.
• For lunch – streamed vegetables with chicken and a tomato salad.
• For dinner – streamed vegetables.


1. Monday:

• For breakfast – fruit and 2 boiled eggs.
• For lunch – chicken and salad.
• For dinner – 2 boiled eggs, salad and an orange.

2. Tuesday:

• For breakfast – fruit and 2 boiled eggs.
• For lunch – streamed vegetables and 2 boiled eggs.
• For dinner – barbequed fish and salad.

3. Wednesday:

• For breakfast – fruit and 2 boiled eggs.
• For lunch – Salad and cooked chicken.
• For dinner – 2 boiled eggs, salad and an orange.

4. Thursday:

• For breakfast – fruit and 2 boiled eggs.
• For lunch – low-fat cheese, 2 boiled eggs and streamed vegetables.
• For dinner – salad and streamed chicken.

5. Friday:

• For breakfast – fruit and 2 boiled eggs.
• For lunch – tuna salad.
• For dinner – salad and 2 boiled eggs.

6. Saturday:

• For breakfast – fruit and 2 boiled eggs.
• For lunch – salad and cooked chicken.
• For dinner – fruits.

7. Sunday:

• For breakfast – fruit and 2 boiled eggs.
• For lunch and dinner – streamed chicken and streamed vegetables.

NOTE: You should consult with your doctor before you take up this wealth loss diet. The diet’s menu is simple. You should not forget to do exercise at least every day for better results.


Secrets of our super slimmers : how weight loss heroes beat the bulge

Most of us want to lose a few pounds in January, following the excess of Christmas, but it’s often easier said than done.

While fad diets may work in the short term, you often regain the weight you’ve lost and then some.

With so many remedies, work out regimes and diets being thrown at us, it’s hard to know what to do to drop the pounds and live a healthier lifestyle in the long term.

But who better to ask than those who’ve done it? We spoke to some of Merseyside’s most impressive slimmers to find out their top weight loss tips.

Jennifer Ginley has dropped 10 dress sizes after posting pictures of everything she ate on Instagram

1. Keep a Food Diary

Jennifer Ginley lost an incredible 9st 9lbs in just over a year and slimmed down from a size 24/26 to a size 8/10.

She credits her weight loss in part to keeping a food diary.

Keeping a diary enables you to see what exactly you’re eating and lets you see any shortchanged food groups that could be potentially depriving you of important nutrients.

It also helps make you accountable – would you really eat that chocolate biscuit if you had to write it down?

2. Eat Breakfast

Lots of people who are overweight fail to eat breakfast, but as we’re all taught this is the most important meal of the day.

Breakfast kickstarts your metabolism and if you miss it, you often overeat later to compensate.

Lots of our slimmers missed breakfast, but now all make sure they have a healthy meal to start the day, such as fruit and yoghurt or poached eggs.

Jennifer Ginley
Jennifer Ginley

3. Plan ahead

As the old adage goes, fail to prepare, prepare to fail.

When you’re trying to lose weight convenience options such as store bought sandwiches are not your friend.

Often these grab and go foods contain hundreds of hidden calories and sugars – leading to an energy slump later in the day.

Jennifer says that planning ahead was key to her weight loss.

As when you’ve got a home made lunch and healthy snacks on hand you’re much less likely to be tempted by naughty treats.

4. Instagram

It seems like we spend most of our lives on social media these days – so it makes sense that more and more people are using it for weight loss.

Jennifer’s instagram account has over 75,000 followers and the support she received from her fans on the social media network really spurred her on.

Through the use of hashtags you can find lots of weight loss tips and recipies, as well as connecting with a community of people in your situation.

It also helps keep you accountable as people are keen to see your latest updates.

Before: Joanne Hallmark lost 10 stone with Slimming World
Before: Joanne Hallmark lost 10 stone with Slimming World

5. Get support from family or friends

Lots of our slimmers started their weight loss journey with a friend or family member.

Losing weight with someone close to you can give you the confidence boost you need, as you support each other through the highs and lows of your weight loss.

Often food can be a very social thing, so having someone to enjoy healthy options with is a big deal.

Many of our slimmers also joined weight loss groups such as Slimming World or Weight Watchers.

Joanne Hallmark, 45, went from 20st 4.5lbs to 10st 7.5lbs after she started attending her local West Derby Slimming World group.

Joanne credits the support of her group leader as being the main reason she lost weight.

Joanne Hallmark with Olympic swimmer Mark Foster
Joanne Hallmark with Olympic swimmer Mark Foster

6. Ditch the booze

Sadly alcohol has lots of hidden sugar, fat and calories, meaning it’s easy to put weight on, if you enjoy a drink.

Joanne used to drink lager “like it was lemonade” leading to her large size.

Wine, beer and cider are the main offenders when it comes to piling on the pounds, but even clearer spirits such as gin and vodka contain excess calories.

Alcohol also lowers our inhibitions, making that late night kebab a more likely prospect.

Add in the hangover the next day and experts estimate you can consume over 2,000 calories as a result of a night on the sauce.

7. Get active

It seems obvious but upping your exercise intake will inevitably help you drop the pounds.

Brooke Ferns lost eight stone after she went to a training session at her local park. She said: “I couldn’t walk afterwards but I decided to stick with it. I started to train even more and I lost a lot of weight quite quickly.”

Obviously going to the gym five times a week will reap rewards, but even upping your activity levels by a small amount can have massive health benefits.

Start slowly with brisk walking, or taking an extra flight of stairs and you’ll be surprised with how much your fitness and waistline changes.

Tori before her incredible weightloss

8. Reduce portion sizes

Often people gain weight because they are simply eating far too much food.

Tori White, who went from 16st to 8.5-9st and is now a size 8, said something “clicked in her head” and she began reducing portion sizes.

Top tips for helping to reduce your portion sizes include using smaller plates when dishing up food, eating slowly, filling a third of your plate with veg or salad and making sure you freeze leftovers immediately – so your’re not tempted to go back for more.

Teenager Tori lost weights by going to the gym and sensible eating

9. Don’t snack

Tori also stopped snacking completely and concentrated on eating three healthy and filling meals a day.

Often we snack because we’re bored, not because we’re hungry – leading to unneccesary weight gain.

Also people tend to eat unhealthy snacks, and then eat a normal sized breakfasts lunches and dinners, which results in overconsumption and weight gain.

But obviously if you’re genuinely hungry between meals you should eat – just maybe go for a carrot stick rather than a chocolate bar!


The carb-cutting diet that thousands of women are using to burn pounds of belly fat

Okay, so you’ve just decided that you want to start on a low carb diet after reading the many health benefits that it has to offer. But these questions keep popping up in your mind… How many grams of carbs can I eat each day? What are the high carb foods that I should avoid? I don’t know anything about nutrition, so how do I even start?

I know these are common doubts and worries that newcomers to low carb diets have; don’t worry, because today I’m going to help you on how to start your low carb diet correctly, even if you know nothing about nutrition!

Starting On a Low Carb Diet – 10 Points to Remember

Starting and following a low carb diet is actually much easier than other diets – you don’t need to count or restrict calories, and there are no supplements to buy and take other than magnesium which will help you through the transitional “keto or low carb flu” period; you just eat whole natural foods that have no or little carbs until you’re full.

1. Write down everything you eat in meals and snacks in detail.

This is absolutely critical. When you take your blood sugar readings, and it spikes, refer to your food journal especially your last meal to identify the carbs that spiked your blood sugar.

2. Get a carb counter.

You can use this one or you can download one to your smartphone; there are numerous carb counter, GL and GI apps on both iOS and Android. Check out Atkins Carb Counter.

3. Get rid of all the forbidden high carb and processed foods.

The most difficult period will be the initial 2 – 4 weeks because, during this transitional phase, you’ll be tempted to revert to your unhealthy eating habits if you have all the forbidden high carb and processed foods within an arm’s length if you don’t pre-empt this temptation.

4. Have low carb foods within easy reach.

I know that this is difficult to do if the rest of your family isn’t on low carb. What you can do is get raw nuts, whole cheese, and eggs, etc. – everything that you can eat a low carb meal or snack, put them near you so if you’re tempted to cheat, then you don’t have a choice but to eat only those low carb items.

5. Sugar Cravings

If you have sweet or sugar cravings during this initial transitional phase, try squeezing the juice of half a lemon into a glass of plain water and add 2 -3 drops of liquid Stevia.

6. Low carb foods for hunger pangs.

The low carb diet emphasizes an increase in fat intake as this is the only macronutrient that doesn’t raise blood sugar at all. That being the case with fat as a substitute for carbs, you should be able to feel full between meals.

However, if you get hunger pangs, drink some coffee or tea with either coconut milk or heavy cream or have a protein and fat snacks like 1 or 2 hardboiled eggs or an avocado smoothie blended with cream or coconut milk and sweetened with a few drops of liquid stevia.

7. Always have whole and natural protein foods in the fridge.

Free range eggs and chicken, fresh pasture raised meat and offal, wild caught fish and other seafood like clams, mussels, shrimps, and oysters – so that you are able to whip up quick, nutritious meals when you want to eat.

8. Pass up the high carb foods when you’re having family meals.

This is what I do when I eat with my family who isn’t into low carb like me. If you’re the one cooking, then you can set the menu for the meals. If another person in the family does the cooking then just simply ask for more low carb foods so that you can eat until you’re full.

9. Pack your lunch and snacks from home.

When I discovered how expensive it was buying low carb food for lunch, I decided to pack my lunch to work: it was either leftover from the previous night’s dinner or a 6-egg cheese omelet with 2 cucumbers and some raw nuts.

10. Buy good quality low carb foods at low prices.

Low-carb can be done on a budget if you follow these tips:

  1. Buy in bulk when there are special offers or bargains,
  2. Buy organ meat like chicken, duck or geese gizzards and livers as they are cheaper and very nutritious.
  3. Eat more eggs because they are the cheapest high-quality protein food.

11 Foods to Avoid

dry pasta

  1. All grains and grain related products e.g. bread, pasta, noodles, rice, porridge & yes, not even oats or quinoa.
  2. All processed foods and meats.
  3. All root vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, taro, lotus roots, etc.
  4. All Legumes e.g. peas, lentils, and beans including soy.
  5. All milk including soy milk, almond milk, etc
  6. Most fruits, only berries are allowed.
  7. All juice, soft drinks, punch, sweetened tea, etc.
  8. Beer & all alcoholic drinks.
  9. All desserts, baked foods, sweets, ice cream, etc.
  10. Processed vegetable and seed oils e.g. canola oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, etc.
  11. Processed commercial sauces and dressings e.g. BBQ sauce, ketchup, chili sauce, etc.

10 Wholesome Foods that You Can Eat


  1. All meat e.g. grass-fed beef, lamb, pork, free-range poultry, organ meat, wild caught fish and seafood.
  2. Free range eggs.
  3. Cheese (NOT sliced cheese which is highly processed).
  4. All leafy and cruciferous vegetables i.e. most vegetables except root vegetables listed above.
  5. Avocados, coconuts, and olives. (Give this delicious Avocado Pesto Sauce a try!)
  6. All natural oils and fats e.g. extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, grass fed butter, lard, clarified butter or ghee, cream, sour cream, and cream cheese.
  7. A handful of raw nuts because most nuts have carbs.
  8. Seeds like chia, flaxseeds, and sunflower seeds.
  9. A little full-fat Greek yogurt.
  10. Coconut milk and cream – these will come in handy if and when you get hunger pangs at night.

Steps In The Low-Carb Diet

  1. When you start going on the low carb diet, begin by getting rid of processed food, refined carbs, root vegs and limiting to 1 or at most 2 small fruit servings every 24 hours.
  2. Give it a few weeks for your body to adjust. Once you’re used to the low carb diet, then you start reducing carbs further IF you’re still getting spikes in the prediabetes range from your fasting and post-grandial blood sugar readings.
  3. If you do decide to reduce your carbs low enough to enable your body to enter ketosis, you will encounter one or more of these transitional symptoms which will last anything from a few days to 3 weeks for some people.

Low-Carb Diet Transitional Symptoms

1. Weight Loss Especially During the 1st 2 – 3 Weeks

This is because every gram of carb holds 3 grams of water. When you drastically reduce your carbs, you’ll experience increased urination as your body sheds the extra water weight. After the 1st 2 – 3 weeks, your weight loss will be stabilized i.e. more gradual as your body starts burning fat for energy instead of glucose.

2. Irritability and Brain Fog

You can’t think at all and get irritated easily: this is perfectly normal. What you can do is to put half a teaspoon of salt into a large glass of water and drink it: after about 30 minutes such symptoms will ease. Drink this salt water drink once a day for the 1st week or until these symptoms disappear.

Another thing you need to do is to increase your fat intake dramatically. Low carb plus low fat will put your body into starvation mode, and you will feel terrible.

3. Poor Performance When You Exercise or Go to the Gym to Workout

This is because your body needs time to adjust to burning ketones (fat) instead of glucose (carbs) for energy and fuel. This adaptation will take weeks; however, the more you exercise while on a ketogenic diet, the faster the adaptation will take.

4. Constipation for Some People

Constipation happens especially if this is the first time on a very low carb diet, so the digestive system needs to adjust. There are a few ways to remedy this:

  1. Increase water and fluid intake
  2. Increase fiber intake with vegetables or psyllium seed husks
  3. If it gets really bad, you can use Milk of Magnesia

5. Calf Muscle Cramps

Calf muscle cramps happen when you first start the ketogenic diet because of the increased urination. You lose water through increased urination; these can decrease the minerals in your body especially magnesium. Try increasing water intake, taking a magnesium supplement and ensure you’re consuming enough salt.

If you still get calf muscle cramps, then you can increase your carbs to get out of ketosis; this will definitely put an end to the bothersome calf muscle cramps.

6. Bad Breath

Bad breath when you’re on the ketogenic diet. The smell is described as fruity, like a nail polish remover. Your body causes this is burning fat which is being converted to ketones to provide energy for the brain. This is usually temporary and will go away in a week or two.

You can use a breath freshener in the meantime to counter this. But if it persists, then you can increase your carbs to get out of ketosis – this will definitely solve the problem.

7. Heart Palpitations and Slightly Elevated Heart Rate

This is usually caused by dehydration and lack of salt. Again, this is normal and will usually resolve itself if you increase your water and fluid intake and ensure you get enough salt. But if it persists, then, by all means, get out of ketosis by increasing your carb intake.

There you have it, very simple and easily usable tips on how to start right on your low carb diet which I’ve used myself.